Theories of truth and vagueness are closely connected; in this article, I draw another connection between these areas of research. Gupta and Belnap’s Revision Theory of Truth is converted into an approach to vagueness. I show how revision sequences from a general theory of definitions can be used to understand the nature of vague predicates. The revision sequences show how the meaning of vague predicates are interconnected with each other. The approach is contrasted with the similar supervaluationist approach.
In this paper I present a range of substructural logics for a conditional connective ↦. This connective was original introduced semantically via restriction on the ternary accessibility relation R for a relevant conditional. I give sound and complete proof systems for a number of variations of this semantic definition. The completeness result in this paper proceeds by step-by-step improvements of models, rather than by the one-step canonical model method. This gradual technique allows for the additional control, lacking in the canonical (...) model method, that is required. (shrink)
The philosophy of Hedwig Conrad-Martius represents a very important intersection point between phenomenological research and the natural sciences in the twentieth century. She tried to open a common pattern from the ontology of the physical being up to anthropology, passing from the biological sciences. An intersection point that, for the particular features of her thought, is rather a perspective point from which to observe, in an interesting and original way, both natural sciences and phenomenology. The 1923 essay entitled Real (...) Ontology (Conrad-Martius 1923) is the starting point for her reflections about science, but it is also the point that marks a separation from Husserl (for a detailed discussion, see: Ales Bello 2003, pp. 184–195), even if not from phenomenology. A fundamental question is faced: “why something instead of nothing?” or: “what is the reality?,” shifting the focus from essence to existence. Whichever the answer, a deeply realistic position must be assumed, based on the assumption of a clear distinction between the subject and the world, and the possibility of knowledge, intended as adaequatio of the subject’s intellectus to the external reality. (shrink)
The present paper is an annotated transcription of an interview held on the 29th of August 2007 in E. Avé-Lallemant’s flat in Munich. He was Hedwig Conrad-Martius’ assistant, carried on her work and research, and filed her legacy, which is deposited at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich. In this interview Avé-Lallemant remembers Conrad-Martius as a person and as a philosopher and discusses her philosophical evolution within Husserl’s phenomenological school, the relationship between biology and phenomenology, her rediscovering of Aristotelian (...) philosophy, and, mainly, the concepts of Energeia and Entelechia. The influence of her friend and colleague Edith Stein made Conrad-Martius gradually take up the Scholastics philosophy again. (shrink)
The most original aspect of Hedwig Conrad-Martius’ research is her interpretation of nature, performed through the phenomenological method. She pinpoints the very essences of the natural phenomena, discovering entelechies inside them and a trans-physical dimension. She reads the evolution of nature in a new way, against the deterministic interpretation of it. Inside nature one can discover many levels, qualitatively different. The human being participates to all of them, but his/her peculiarity is linked to the mental–spiritual life.
Conrad-Martius’ philosophy can be defined as a non-orthodox position in phenomenological ontology. This position can be considered such in a different sense from Heidegger’s ontology and may be treated as an extension of Husserl’s phenomenology in view of the following three elements. (1) Seiendes (entity) is considered anything that has consistence in the larger sense of the word, including all entities, such as fantastical entities (spirits, fairy-tale beings), soul, ideas and others, that can be used to obtain the phenomenological (...) description. (2) The phenomenological description that occurs through a new definition of “phenomenological reduction” and epoché, in such a way that a realistic solution is emphasized in the analysis of being; being is not considered as the residuum of a system of noema, but, following medieval philosophy, as having the eminent character of reality, through which any of the others can be derived. (3) The analysis of being gives a stratification of various entities, through which each finds definition by means of its relative allocation in an “ontological space”. (shrink)
Although the connections of Hedwig Conrad-Martius’ ontological phenomenology, what she called, “realontology,” to Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology were constant concerns that usually remained in the background of her work, on occasion they became foreground. Similarly the problems surrounding the individuation of the person and spirit were persistent but rather marginal in her writings. In this paper I want first to review some of the issues as they are connected to ontological and transcendental phenomenology. Then I want to relate them to (...) the cosmological and theological issues that were no less important for Conrad-Martius. (shrink)
The special importance of the system of Hedwig Conrad-Martius lies in that she takes up the ideas of her teacher Husserl and pursues them on an independent path of phenomenology carefully anchored in the history of philosophy. This above all made possible the philosophical grasping of the then revolutionary findings in the modern natural sciences, especially in physics and medicine. The question concerning the border between the natural sciences and philosophy is today still debated with just as much urgency—indeed, (...) ethically with even more urgency—as it was in her time. By virtue of this alone, her ideas can be of great help to us. The natural scientific progress made since her time does not, however, present a barrier; rather it corresponds to the spirit of phenomenology: not to produce results with rigid intellectual frameworks, but to make available a tool with which the world in its diversity—and thus also for its modern, ever-changing issues—can be disclosed ever anew. The essay will consist of an overview of the life of Hedwig Conrad-Martius, an introduction to the essential ideas of her work: her concept of essence and her formulation of phenomenological ideation [Wesensschau], a brief sketch of her epistemology and an exposition of her ontological conception of “real ontology” [Realontologie]. (shrink)
Conrad’s Lord Jim presents not only a paradigmatic case of weakness of will, but an equally paradigmatic case of the enormous difficulties that attend fitting weakness of will into our other moral attitudes, particularly those relating to moral worth and moral shame. Conrad’s general conception of character and morality is deeply Aristotelian in many respects, somewhat Kantian in others. The essay traces out the intuitive strengths and philosophical difficulties that both an Aristotelian and a Kantian conception will have (...) before the problem of weakness of will, and argues that the ambiguity in Conrad’s treatment of Jim’s case is the reflection of the clash between these two equally compelling, incompatible conceptions of the self and moral worth. (shrink)
The phenomenological movement originates with Edmund Husserl, and two of his young students and collaborators, Edith Stein and Hedwig Conrad-Martius, made a notable contribution to the very delineation of the phenomenological method, which pushed phenomenology in a “realistic” direction. This essay seeks to examine the decisive influence that these two thinkers had on two specific areas: the value of the sciences and certain metaphysical questions. Concerningthe former, I maintain that Stein, departing from a philosophical, phenomenological analysis of the human (...) being, is interested particularly in the formation of the cognitive value of the human sciences. Regarding the latter, Conrad-Martius, given her knowledge of biology, tackled the question of the role and meaning of the sciences of nature. The second question, related to metaphysical themes, became a specific and relevant object of research for both women phenomenologists.It will be investigated by comparing two works, one by each thinker, namely, the Metaphysische Gespräche by Conrad-Martius and Potenz und Akt by Edith Stein. (shrink)
This book examines the philosophy of history and the subject of the nation in the literature of Joseph Conrad. It explores the importance of nineteenth-century Polish Romantic philosophy in Conrad's literary development, arguing that the Polish response to Hegelian traditions of historiography in nineteenth-century Europe influenced Conrad's interpretation of history. After investigating Conrad's early career in the context of the philosophy of history, the book analyses Nostromo (1904), The Secret Agent (1907), and Under Western Eyes (1911) (...) in light of Conrad's writing about Poland and his sustained interest in the subject of national identity. Conrad juxtaposes his belief in an inherited Polish national identity, derived from Herder and Rousseau, with a sceptical questioning of modern nationalism in European and Latin American contexts. Nostromo presents the creation of the modern nation state of Sulaco; The Secret Agent explores the subject of 'foreigners' and nationality in England; while Under Western Eyes constitutes a systematic attempt to undermine Russian national identity. Conrad emerges as an author who examines critically the forces of nationalism and national identity that troubled Europe throughout the nineteenth century and in the period before the First World War. This leads to a consideration of Conrad's work during the Great War. In his fiction and newspaper articles during the war, Conrad found a way of dealing with a conflict that made him acutely aware of being sidelined at a turning point in both modern Polish and modern European history. Finally, this book re-evaluates Conrad's late novels The Rover (1923) and Suspense (1925), a long-neglected part of his career, investigating Conrad's sustained treatment of French history in his last years alongside his life-long fascination with the cult of Napoleon Bonaparte. (shrink)
Medieval discussions on rights. Bonaventure -- Godfrey of Fontaines -- Peter John Olivi -- Hervaeus Natalis -- William Ockham -- Richard Fitzralph -- Jean Gerson -- Antoninus of Florence -- The right of the individual. Right as power -- Right as dominion -- Right as a relation -- The species of dominion. The six-fold dominion -- Natural dominion -- Property rights. Justification of private property -- The rights of use (usus) and usufruct (usufructus) -- Ownership (proprietas) and possession (possessio).
Although he had intermittently toiled over his translation of Hegel's Science of Logic for nearly half a century without finding a publisher, Henry Conrad Brokmeyer, the petulant visionary of St. Louis Hegelian fame, concluded it was naive to expect an infant nation to devote itself to philosophical reflection while it was "carving civilization out of wilderness." Brokmeyer's difficulties may have had more to do with his disdain for the grammatical and spelling conventions of the English language than he cared (...) to admit.1 Nonetheless, his observation about the culture of his adopted homeland brings into sharp relief a tension between high intellectual pursuits and more practical concerns. Brokmeyer's juxtaposition of "civilization" and "wilderness" also highlights the... (shrink)
Warm, sensitive, creative, outgoing, cheeky, creepy. Scan any personal ads page and it's clear that to get a life you need a personality first. It is also a notion with a long and often bizarre history: in early Greece and medieval Europe, it was thought to depend on the balance of bile in the body. On Personality is a thoughtful and stimulating look under the skin of this widely-used but little understood phenomenon. Peter Goldie points out that we rely on (...) personality to do a lot of work: describe, judge, understand, explain and predict others as well as ourselves. Is it really up to this task? If personality is about "character," is it a relic of a bygone Victorian age? If personality is so reliable, how can a virtue in one person be a vice in another? Drawing on a great range of philosophers, novelists and films, from Aristotle, Hume, Kant and Nietzsche to Joseph Conrad, Middlemarch , War and Peace and Bridget Jones' Diary , Peter Goldie also discusses some famous psychology experiments. If personality is a reliable guide to predicting what people will do, he reflects on why people often surprise us and asks whether personality is simply down to chance and circumstance. (shrink)
Albert Einstein read philosophy. It was not an affectation of a celebrity-physicist trying to show his adoring public that he was no mere technician, but a cultured thinker. It was an interest in evidence from the start. In 1902, Einstein was a poorly paid patent examiner in Bern seeking to make a few extra Francs by offering tutorials in physics. Maurice Solovine answered the advertisement. The tutorials quickly vanished when they discovered their common fascinations in reading and talking. They were (...) soon joined in their raucous meetings by Conrad Habicht, completing what they dubbed their “Olympia Academy.” Their explorations where wide-ranging, devouring texts and sausages with gusto. They read the philosophers and philosophically-minded scientists of the day, including Pearson, Mach, Hill, Hume, Spinoza, Avenarius, Cifford and Poincaré. (shrink)
"Cult of ugliness," Ezra Pound’s phrase, powerfully summarizes the ways in which modernists such as Pound, T. S. Eliot, Wyndham Lewis, and T. E. Hulme—the self-styled "Men of 1914"—responded to the "horrid or sordid or disgusting" conditions of modernity by radically changing aesthetic theory and literary practice. Only the representation of "ugliness," they protested, would produce the new, truly "beautiful" work of art. They dissociated the beautiful from its traditional embodiment in female beauty, and from its association with Walter Pater (...) and Oscar Wilde. Their cultivation of ugliness displaced misogyny and homophobia. Higgins takes in texts such as John Ruskin’s art criticism, Eliot’s literary journalism, Lewis’s pro-fascism pamphlets, and the poetry of Pound, Conrad Aiken, and Langston Hughes. She demonstrates that even vigorous champions of beauty were committed to aesthetic practices that disempowered female figures in order to articulate new truths of male artistic mastery. (shrink)
We propose and defend a distinction between two types of self-censorship: public and private. In public self-censorship, individuals restrain their expressive attitudes in response to public censors. In private self-censorship, individuals do so in the absence of public censorship. We argue for this distinction by introducing a general model which allows us to identify, describe, and compare a wide range of censorship regimes. The model explicates the interaction between censors and censees and yields the distinction between two types of self-censorship. (...) In public self-censorship, the censee aligns her expression of attitudes according to the public censor. In private self-censorship, the roles of censor and censee are fullled by the same agent. The distinction has repercussions for normative analysis: principles of free speech can only be invoked in cases of public self-censorship. (shrink)
This is a book about moral reasoning: how we actually reason and how we ought to reason. It defends a form of "rule" utilitarianism whereby we must sometimes judge and act in moral questions in accordance with generally accepted rules, so long as the existence of those rules is justified by the good they bring about. The author opposes the currently more fashionable view that it is always right for the individual to do that which produces the most good. Among (...) the salient topics covered are: an account of the utilitarian function in society of generally accepted moral rules; a discussion of how we interpret existing moral rules and create new ones; and a defense of "rule" utilitarianism against the charge that it either commits one to irrational rule worship, or collapses into a form of "act" utilitarianism. (shrink)
The concept of time discounting introduces weights on future goods to make these less valu- able. Famously, both the specic functional form of time discounting and its normative sta- tus are contested. To address these problems, this paper provides a measurement-theoretic framework of representation for time discounting. The general representation theorem char- acterises time discounting factors as ratio-scale representations of dierences in temporally extended prospects. This framework of representation is used to reconsider interpretations of time discounting factors such as time (...) preferences, uncertainty and preference change. It also allows to compare these interpretations with regards to their normative appeal, the kinds of reductionism regarding time and preference they imply and the specic functional form of time discounting they suggest. Farther, multiple-self interpretations of decision-makers become available, such that a time discounting factor represents the degree of connectedness between temporal selves in a person. (shrink)
We develop and defend a distinction between two types of self-censorship: public and private. First, we suggest that public self-censorship refers to a range of individual reactions to a public censorship regime. Second, private self-censorship is the suppression by an agent of his or her own attitudes where a public censor is either absent or irrelevant. The distinction is derived from a descriptive approach to self-censorship that asks: who is the censor, who is the censee, and how do they interact? (...) We label situations in which censor and censee are different agents as public self-censorship, and situations in which they are the same agents as private self-censorship. We demonstrate the salience of this distinction by analysing the case of publication of Mohammed cartoons by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Our analysis reveals the presence and interaction of a number of different instances of private and public self-censorship. While our article is primarily concerned with establishing this novel descriptive distinction between public and private self-censorship, our analysis has important evaluative implications. We explain for instance how Jyllands-Posten was laudable as a public self-censor but not so as a private self-censor. In general, our analysis reveals that the agents and processes involved in public and private self-censorship are substantively different, as are the agents to whom normative principles regarding censorship should be applied. In particular, principles of free speech do not apply to the case of private self-censorship, because while an instance of censorship, the absence of an external censor makes the censorship non-coercive. (shrink)